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By Singing Light

Pretty much everything here originally appeared at my actual blog: By Singing Light. I particularly focus on upper middle-grade and young adult books. I also enjoy adult genre books, especially speculative fiction.

Currently reading

The Lost Tools of Learning and the Mind of the Maker
Dorothy L. Sayers
The Seventh Bride
T. Kingfisher
Hope in the Dark
Rebecca Solnit
Outrun the Moon
Stacey Lee
Midnight Thief
Livia Blackburne
The White Hart
Nancy Springer
The Great Wall Of Lucy Wu
Wendy Wan-Long Shang
Jim C. Hines
Elizabeth & Leicester: Power, Passion, Politics
Sarah Gristwood
The Gone-Away World - Nick Harkaway Opening: "Chapter One. Where it all began; pigs and crisis; close encounters with management. The lights went out in the Nameless Bar just after nine."

This is a book which is extremely hard to describe. It is a comedy, except when it's not. It's a treatise on the foolishness of war, except when it's not. It's a serious book, with ninjas and mimes.

It's also extremely hard to put down, as my finishing it at 2 am will attest.

While it has the humor of a satire or a mad comedy (and sometimes both at the same time), it also has a kind of funny seriousness that keeps the whole thing from becoming slapstick. One of my problems with satire in general is that it lacks heart. This book doesn't.

There's a big plot twist. I had trouble with this plot twist, in that I wasn't sure it had actually happened. I had to go back and check and then check online because I still wasn't sure. This may have been due to the fact that I was reading at 2 am. I think I would have to re-read the whole book to really get it. And since this is a hefty book, with bits that appear to be sidelines but aren't, I'm not really sure when that will happen.

All the same, I really enjoyed it. I don't think it would be for everyone; there's a fair amount of violence and sex, though not terribly graphic for either. For me, it hit all the right notes--hilarious and sad and surprising.

Book source public library
Book information: Alfred Knopf, 2008; sf, adult
Recommended by: Jess